Phenix City Council gave final legislative approval Tuesday morning to a new zip line that will start in downtown Columbus, cross the Chattahoochee River and land on the Alabama side.
Council, in a 5-0 decision, voted to allow construction on city property just north of the amphitheater.
“I think this shows Columbus and Phenix City are working together,” said Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe. “We are blessed in this area. What affects Columbus affects Phenix City and what affects Phenix City affects Columbus. This is an example of that.”
Work on the Columbus side has already begun on the roughly $400,000 project that is being done by Whitewater Express, the lone outfitter on the Chattahoochee whitewater course, and Uptown Whitewater Management LLC, a non-profit corporation that manages the 2.5-mile whitewater park.
The zip line will start on the Columbus side near Bay Avenue and 11th Street, just south of the Synovus corporate headquarters. The 1,200-foot line — in which people will reach speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour — ends on the Phenix City side about 200 yards north of the amphitheater.
Uptown Whitewater Management President Richard Bishop said the agreements with the Phenix City and Columbus governments call for each city to receive 2 percent of the cost of a run.
The price to do the zip line has not been set, Bishop said.
Whitewater Express and Uptown Whitewater Management are still working out details of who will pay for the project, he said.
Originally, Whitewater Express was going to construct and operate the zip line. Now, there is a probability that Uptown Whitewater Management will pay for the construction and own it, Bishop said.
“We feel like it is a good idea for us to own it with it being on city property, rather than an individual own it on city property,” Bishop said.
The run should open sometime in September. Once construction is complete, the zip line will have to be insured, Bishop said.
“That can’t happen until it is certified by the construction company,” he said.
Challenge Design Innovations of North Carolina is constructing the course.